A wise man once said that “a good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.” The only way to tell if a leader is a person of integrity is if the work of their hands ultimately bears good fruit. When people hear the word leader, they tend to envision superiority. They romanticize the idea of having authority while ignoring the fact that leaders cannot possibly exist without the people who follow them. Leadership is about more than exercising power. It’s about more than possessing prestige or high-standing. True leadership encompasses the instinct to always act responsibly, and to be accountable for one’s decisions as a leader.

What is Responsible Leadership?

Responsible leadership is the habit of exercising influence in a way that is utilitarian. This is to say that responsible leadership is an inclination to constantly strive for achieving the greatest possible good, for the greatest possible number of people. In order to attain this level of leadership, a person must embrace good ethics, practice forethought, be open to communication and be methodical about implementing policies that affect anyone within their purview.

What is Accountable Leadership?

Accountability itself is a social arrangement by which an individual agrees to subject themselves to impartial oversight by a third party. Accountable leadership therefore is the habit of being generally answerable for one’s decisions and actions as a leader. Accountability is central to strong leadership because it keeps people grounded. It keeps leaders aware of the fact that their choices have impactful consequences. Making instrumental decisions obliviously is not only insensitive, it could potentially cause widespread suffering depending on how much responsibility a leader has.

Why is it Worth It?

At the end of the day, leadership which is responsible, and accountable, is integral to the survival of an organization. These values inspire a fundamental sense of empathy that inhibits the destructive characteristics of human nature. It’s that much harder to misappropriate funds if you are truly responsible and accountable. It’s that much harder to exploit workers if you are truly responsible and accountable. It’s that much harder to ignore the well-being of anyone who relies on you if you are truly responsible and accountable. Leading without this motivation is an inevitable path to scandal. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on leadership, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the various informative workshops and events listed on our website and social media. Whether you’re interested in personal development, or overall improvement of your business, give us a call at 1 (888) 823-7757 to find out how RISE Programs can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.


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One of the most recognizable components of a company’s identity is its vision statement. This is because vision is to ambition, what water is to fish. A vision statement is a theoretical concept of what the founders of a company expect their organization to accomplish, and represent philosophically in the long-term. Vision statements set ultimate goals for a company, as well as influence its overall growth and development. They instill a sense of direction to a company’s operations by reminding decision-makers to keep thinking about the future as opposed to focusing too much on superficial objectives.

Leaders Have a Duty to Act with Vision

Even the most poetic vision statement ends up being a pile of empty words without someone to tangibly act on it. The people most responsible for making sure that a company’s vision transforms into reality, are its leaders. By virtue of the fact that executives and managers directly engineer the activities of a company, they occupy the most strategic position possible to convey the underlying principles of a vision statement purely by instruction to their subordinates. When leaders reflect a company’s vision statement, they inherently end up creating a work environment that is inspired by purpose, as opposed to driven by procedure.

Don’t just Say It Show It

It’s one thing for a company to possess a clear vision for its future, however the exact manner in which this vision is executed can mean the difference between a motivated workforce and a discouraged one. Cultivating effective vision statements requires more than putting pen to paper. It is a process that demands meditation and research. Beyond just crafting a hopeful statement, it’s important to publish it in a way that is continuously within view of the people expected to manifest it. When composing a vision statement:


1.       Perform a Thorough Self-Assessment: Develop and define a clear identity for the company and its employees. Understand every resource at its disposal, as well as its capacity to deliver intended services and expand from thereon.


2.       Decide on a Philosophy: Whether altruistic, or self-serving, decide on specific ideals that members of your organization should both adopt and reflect. When a company functions based on a philosophy, it becomes easier for its workforce to make consistent decisions.


3.       Outline Grand Objectives: Vision statements are aspirational because they are intended to persuade people into pushing limits. Success is easy to achieve. Notoriety on the other hand can only transpire when people surpass the bounds of their own, and others’ expectations.


4.       Publish Your Vision: Until a vision statement is actually shared, it exists as a secret. People can only act on a vision statement if they learn it, and access it regularly enough to remember it. Whether it’s through literature, online resources, training programs or any other such informational avenues, once a vison statement has been developed it should be shared openly with the members of an organization.

To quote the infamous Helen Keller, “the only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” The only way an organization can adapt to the instability of markets is with a firm perspective on what the future should be, regardless of any problems occurring in the moment. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on leadership, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the various informative workshops and events listed on our website and social media. Whether you’re interested in personal development, or overall improvement of your business, give us a call at 1 (888) 823-7757 to find out how RISE Programs can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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There are two types of leaders in this world: those who impact circumstances, and those who impact people. Leaders who impact circumstances are only capable of exercising influence over procedure and tangible resources. They function within the parameters of their job descriptions incapable of inspiration or innovation beyond meeting the basic expectations of their position. On the other hand, leaders who impact people exercise influence over their own abilities, as well as abilities possessed by others. Such leaders achieve success not by strict procedural effort, but by nurturing environments of creativity which accomplish the collective goals of a group or an organization.

Purpose Makes the World go Round

By virtue of the fact that workforces, and markets, are fundamentally comprised of human beings, success in business is inherently contingent on being able to influence people, as opposed to circumstances. This is especially true when it comes to leadership. Leaders can only thrive if they simultaneously motivate productivity out of employees, and devise strategies to elicit loyalty from consumers. These are all relationships that can only be maintained in the long-term by establishing clear vision and purpose both as an individual leader, and at the organizational level. In the absence of vision and purpose, it’s easy to end up making decisions that either act against the interests of a company, or against the interests of consumers who place their trust in a company’s goods and services.

Mission Statements aren’t Just Talk

This necessity for vision and purpose is why companies formulate mission statements. The more a company grows, the more variables arise that threaten to sway the focus and identity of its existing members. A clear mission statement creates a climate in which two important things can happen:

·         Newcomers to a company can become informed about exactly what they should channel their talents towards accomplishing.

·         Existing company employees can stay continually informed about their common goals regardless of environmental changes.

Mission statements serve as a permanent guide for the aspirations and values of a given organization. Without them it’s easy for management to become conflicted about how best to operate.

Find a Balance

When a leader maintains personal vision that is aligned with that of the company they serve, this reinforces the authenticity and transformational nature of their leadership. Leaders who sincerely endorse their company’s mission statement are strategically positioned to project passion and enthusiasm for the work that they do. This is a good thing because passion is infectious. Passion is admired. Passion is desired and emulated by those who witness it. When leaders are seen to manifest their company’s mission statement, it sends a clear message to colleagues, subordinates, and other stakeholders that there is an active philosophy behind the activities of an organization. A philosophy which transcends amassing sales. In an age when people have high distrust for corporations, demonstrat! ing that your leadership is guided by something beyond money encourages people to replace their mistrust with goodwill. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on leadership, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the various informative workshops and events listed on our website and social media. Whether you’re interested in personal development, or overall improvement of your business, give us a call at 1 (888) 823-7757 to find out how RISE Programs can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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Knowledgeability is the cornerstone of any leader’s credibility. There are many things a leader can do to earn people’s admiration, ultimately however, genuine knowledgeability is the only characteristic that intrinsically maintains respect for a leader’s position. The moment employees feel or discover that their superiors have limited knowledge, it becomes tempting for said employees either to disregard or undermine their leadership’s authority. Even though there are situations in which a manager can’t possibly develop more technical expertise than a subordinate, it is possible for managers to demonstrate unequaled proficiency on some level that legitimizes their prerogative to lead.

Never stop learning

This is why continually working to expand knowledge is vital to effective leadership. Firstly, striving for knowledgeability enhances aptitude on an individual level. Secondly, it also creates the opportunity to empower others and thereby improve professional performance on a large scale. Business convention tends to emphasize tangible resources, such as finances or raw materials, as the most integral forms of a company’s capital. Knowledge, however, is just as indispensable a resource as any other, if not more so. Knowledgeability sparks innovation. Knowledgeability encourages progress. Knowledgeability challenges organizations to expand into new activities strategically. Without the pursuit of knowledge, people would be condemned to mediocrity in the work they do.

There are no excuses

Life in the information age makes expanding knowledge easier than it has ever been before. Virtually everyone has access to educational institutions and programs, either on-site or online. Even without academic instruction, basic research can yield substantial information that is reliable enough to develop any person’s knowledge base. It all starts with motivation. It all starts with the fundamental desire to take even the smallest initiative and improve oneself. As one good deed begets another, every bit of knowledge gained will lead to efficient and beneficial decision-making that helps everyone over time. Being tactical about gaining and applying knowledge sets the stage for meaningful self-improvement in two ways:

1. It sets the stage for Personal Improvement:

Seeking out knowledge specifically to increase individual intellect bolsters legitimacy in a leader and sharpens occupational skills. Within the professional context, managers should especially do as much as possible to learn about their companies’ products, services, competition, historic performance, industry conditions, projected output, and other such specialized operational information. Comprehensive institutional knowledge can be directly leveraged into power and influence in an organization. The more leadership understands about their business, the better positioned they are not only to oversee and guide employees but also to direct overall growth and maintain a competitive advantage.

2.It sets the stage to Empower Others:

No organization can possibly function without collaboration. Leaders need followers to carry out specific tasks, whereas followers need leaders to make critical decisions. Given this interdependent dynamic, when a leader is paired with knowledgeable followers, the overall productivity of the entire team multiplies. In addition to personally seeking out knowledge, therefore leaders should also create opportunities for their employees to gain knowledge with the aim of corresponding advancement. This creates a situation whereby a company grows in size at the same time that its workforce grows in capability.

Knowledge is a seed. A seed which when nurtured can germinate and bear fruits of empowerment and prosperity. Pursuing profit alone positions a leader to accomplish immediate goals through standard means. On the other hand, pursuing knowledge in addition to profit, positions a leader to accomplish ambitious goals through groundbreaking means. Ultimately the choice between mediocrity and excellence is yours. Join RISE Programs to learn more about how to strengthen your leadership through practical skills.

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We’ve all been there. Collapsed on the couch at the end of a long day. Completely unable to relax thanks to the brick of regret weighing down your gut. Absolutely nothing to show for how you spent your time except for aggravated murmurs into the ceiling. There’s nothing quite as disappointing as waking up with the best intentions for your day, only to slip into a cycle of procrastination and wasted time. The bad news is that these types of moments are unavoidable in life. The good news on the other hands is that we all have the power to do something about it.

All it takes to gain control of how you spend your time is some planning. This might sound complicated but even a slight effort to add some structure and efficiency to the way we spend our time can end up reaping substantial benefits in the long run. A decision as small as using an alarm clock in order to wake up early can actually cascade into positive lifestyle changes, especially considering that one good decisions always begets another. Here are ten foolproof time-management strategies that are sure to help transform your daily routine for the better.

  • Evaluate your natural activities before creating a schedule:

Self-improvement can only be implemented successfully on a foundation of self-awareness. If you want to change how you spend time, create a journal of your activities then review your findings in order to isolate specific areas that need change.

  • Eliminate Time-Killers:

Keep an eye out for habits or activities that take up unusual amounts of time. It can help to eliminate distractions such as social media, TV, or perfectionism.

  • Use the right Tech:

We live in a digitized world but this doesn’t necessarily mean that all technology is helpful. Unwitting reliance on inefficient technology actually consumes time rather than saving it. Get rid of any technology that only offers style over substance.

  • Set prioritized goals:

Setting out to accomplish any ambitious task without defining clear objectives either results in wasted effort or meaningless exertion. Make sure to constantly keep your most important goals in mind as a way to stay focused on why it is you need to use time wisely.

  • Use a flexible schedule:

It’s easier to plan on doing something than it is to execute. This simple fact leads many people to draft schedules for themselves that are too taxing. Don’t stretch yourself too thin by arranging to do too many things at once.

  • Take breaks:

Just because you’re trying to save time doesn’t mean that all of it should be used on work. Rest is an integral component of stamina and follow-through. In the process of modifying your activities, remember to set time aside for some relaxation. This is essential for rejuvenation and morale.

  • Be realistic and learn to say no:

One of the most common reasons that people get saddled with busy schedules is because they simply don’t know how to say no. Don’t bend over backwards just to accommodate other people’s expectations. Concentrate on your own priorities.

  • Expect the unexpected:

Before committing to a structured way of functioning, remember to keep an open mind about how realistic it is to follow schedules without deviation. Keep an open mind about strict schedules and don’t punish yourself for having to deal with the unexpected.

  • Stay focused:

Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by early celebration, fatigue or intimidation. Take things one task at a time, one day at time, until success is realized

  • Reward yourself:

When you accomplish something ambitious in good time, celebrate it. This is a good way to stay motivated about maintaining any new habits necessary to use time effectively.

Time management is more about productivity than effort. Rather than working hard, work smart to make the most out of available resources with the least exertion possible. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on leadership, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post.

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Sales Secrets

Know Your Clients

If you are not taking care of your customers, your competitors will

– Bob Hooey

Every business owner should understand that potential clients will always have two fundamental expectations.

They expect you to:

– Know your own product and your company.

– Know something about them and their individual needs.


It is also helpful to know about your competition. Small efforts like conducting some background research before a sales meeting can help determine customers’ values and needs. Being knowledgeable about customers and the environment they transact in is a trait that every sales person must possess. The more analysis you conduct as a salesperson, the better positioned you are to solve your clients’ problems comprehensively.

Conducting primary research by collecting data from the customer themselves is usually cheap and quick. This process can be as simple as asking them for their ideas, their comments, and opinions. Customer opinion is very important. If you observe how consumers handle your product, you could discover the product’s most valuable features. In turn, this would enable you to better take care of the clients’ specific needs.

Customer Value

What is customer value? Consumers all benefit from the products they choose, but at a cost. That is, the purchase price paid for a given product. Customer value can be defined simply as the traits that a customer requires from their purchases, in exchange for the money they spend.

What are some of the things that customers value? Here are the top 5:

  • Ease of doing business (People pay for convenience)
  • Quality of the product/service
  • Reliability of product and provider
  • Customer service
  • The overall value for the amount of money spent (meets their needs and solves their problems)

Immerse yourself in their world, and understand all aspects of your product in their eyes. You should also fully understand all of the disadvantages to your product’s use, as well as any alternatives that may lie with your competition.

Another way to determine the needs of the customer is to simply ask them. Explore what their ideas or suggestions are for the product. This will better help you present your customer with viable solutions and build rapport with the client.

Set yourself up for success by KNOWING YOUR CLIENT!

Richard Martinez

Transformation Expert

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Business Wellness Program

Health and wellness are central aspects of anyone’s life, including at the workplace. As a business owner or manager, having healthy employees is of great benefit to your business. This is because having employees who are happy and healthy is integral to consistent operations that can sustain a profitable bottom line.

Implementing a health and wellness program at your business will decrease the company’s healthcare costs. In turn, having healthier employees will not only reduce overhead, it will improve employee morale, increase production, and create an atmosphere that is conducive to operations. Healthy employees are far better placed to establish good relationships not only with one another, but with clients as well. Healthy employees are freer to develop creative ideas and solutions to the various problems encountered in the regular course of business. Just think about it. When you feel on top of your game, healthy, passionate and energetic, how much more can you produce? How good is you attitude when you feel well and strong? Now imagine that for all your employees!

Definition of a Health and Wellness Program

Understanding the meaning of a health and wellness program is the first step to effective implementation of one. Every year companies spend massive amounts of money on avoidable health-related issues. A good health and wellness program can alleviate some of these expenses.

What is a Health and Wellness Program?

So what exactly is a health and wellness program?

A health and wellness program is a corporate program that is implemented to enhance physical, emotional and mental health. There are many types of health and wellness programs, each of which offer various benefits depending on the specific program. They can help reduce health insurance costs, safety incidents, and even absenteeism. According to the National Safety Council, nearly one million workers a day are absent due to stress, costing American companies nearly $300 billion a year in loss of productivity, and the cost of temporary help.

RISE Programs knows the value and power of introducing a health and wellness program to the workplace. The difference this can make with morale, teamwork and production is immeasurable. This is why we have created a program that helps businesses RISE to new heights of efficiency and production. For more information call 1-888-823-7757.

Here are 3 things you can start doing NOW!


1.-Prepare and distribute a list of healthy dining options within a 2-mile radius of your office

Create a list of all the nearby restaurants which serve healthy food choices. You could also go a step further and list examples of healthy food that is available at these restaurants. Pictures help!  

2. Bring fresh fruits and veggies to the break room

Have fresh fruits and vegetables periodically delivered to the break room for employees to eat for free. If that costs too much money for the company to implement, start a healthy-food fund where each employee chips in a certain amount of money every month for healthy snacks.

3. Negotiate corporate discounts for health club memberships

Many businesses partner with various health clubs in their community so that employees can get discounts on memberships. For instance while regular members might have to pay $20 to $30 per month, most corporate discounts give employees the chance to join for $10 or less per month.

Richard Martinez

Transformation Expert


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Solving Problems

You don’t need to be a professional “salesman” in order to sell something. In fact, you’d actually be surprised at how often you participate in sales on a daily basis. Life is all about sales! Whether it’s convincing your boss to give you a raise, persuading a potential client to accept your proposal, pleading with your spouse to change the radio station, or encouraging your child to do their homework, almost any negotiation that happens throughout our daily routines requires some degree of sales-related skills.

Many times the technical connotations of the word “sales” intimidates us from projecting natural confidence that is necessary for sales itself. This is why it’s important to change your perception of sales. Don’t look at it as a specialized process; rather look at it as a way to build relationships and SOLVE PROBLEMS.

Sales = Problem Solving

If you want to be valued by your customers, you have to solve their problems. Customers who need solutions to high-priority issues are willing to pay for those solutions. But first, you must identify the customer’s problems. What are they missing or needing? Then you must analyze said problems. What causes the problems? What could solve the problems? Then you need to formulate several options to remedy the situation for the customer. Which products/services will solve their problems? And lastly, assist the customer to choose the solutions that best suits their needs.

Think of the emotional connection people make with a product or service as the ultimate benefit of sales. People are mostly interested in how your product solves their problems and what emotions it makes them feel.

No matter how well you think you can persuade others to adopt your point of view, there is always room for improvement. Keep practicing, connecting through relationship-building, and SOLVING PROBLEMS.

A great problems solver = a great salesman

Richard Martinez

Transformation Expert

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Every one of us has role models in life; icons whose leadership we ardently admire. These role models hail from different backgrounds no less. They could be politicians, athletes, celebrities, distinguished professionals and so on. Regardless of who they are, chances are we look up to them for one fundamental reason, they get things done. They exemplify success. They show us what it looks like when someone actually sets their mind to accomplish something ambitious, and actually realizes their goals to completion.

There’s a simple expression for this quality in a leader. It’s called follow-through. Leadership devoid of follow-through is nothing but an exercise in wishful thinking. Any person who aspires to become an effective leader must possess the basic initiative to tangibly execute their plans for success. This may sound easy enough, but the sad truth is that not everyone practices meaningful follow-through in their approach to life. In fact, arguably every last person knows what it feels like to grapple with the problems of procrastination, hesitation, and second-guess after second-guess. If you are looking for ways to strengthen your resolve and become the type of leader who finishes what they start, here are six foolproof strategies to inform your thought-process.

  • Accept Uncertainty as a Part of Life:

Fear of the unknown is one of the most paralyzing emotions in existence. If this fear doesn’t discourage people to the point of inaction, it intimidates them into over-thinking in the name of preparing for the worst. It is an absolute fact, especially when it comes to business, that it’s impossible to make a rewarding decision without assuming some risk. Living to avoid uncertainty only intensifies ambivalence. Learning to accept and adapt to it as a part of life on the other hand, emotionally immunizes oneself against fear of the unknown.

  • Give yourself a Deadline:

When used reasonably, deadlines are actually profound behavioral motivators. Consider filing taxes for example. Every year, the IRS sets a strict deadline for the public to file returns. Even though they may procrastinate, the majority of people scramble to meet this target within time, so much so that accounting professionals count on tax season as a guaranteed period of income. Even if it’s an unofficial one, setting a deadline for desired tasks provokes initiative and commitment. It reminds leaders not only to make the most of their time, but also to be accountable for how they use it.

  • Take the Plunge:

Making plans is easy. Sometimes it’s even fun to brainstorm and come up with idea after idea on how to solve a given problem. However, all the elaborate plans in the world can never accomplish anything without the conclusive will to act on them. Strong leaders recognize that there is a time to plan, and there is a time to act. When the time to act arrives, reluctance and indecision frustrate progress instead of enabling it. The best way to actually gain anything from a decision is to intentionally go through with it in the first place.

  • Set Realistic Targets:

There’s nothing wrong with thinking big. After all big dreams can eventually translate into big success. However, understanding what limitations are insurmountable is in imperative component of level-headed leadership. Strong leaders know how to draw the line between pushing the limits of their potential and biting off more than they can chew. Setting realistic targets is important because it creates the opportunity to accomplish small victories that inspire exponential achievement.

  • Take Things One Step at a Time:

There is an ancient Chinese proverb that offers indispensable advice when it comes to leadership, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” When it comes to completing elaborate tasks, thinking about things in the big picture tends to overwhelm – especially when the stakes are high. It’s good to understand the requirements for success but rather than being the type of leader who tries to get everything done all at once, focus on one task at a time, one day at time. Being moderate is the key to consistency and endurance.

  • Concentrate:

Regardless of how well or how poorly a project evolves, always remember that it’s not over until it’s over. Don’t quit until the job is done, and don’t celebrate until the job is done either. Completion is the single most inherent ingredient of follow-through. A strong leader should always exercise the discipline necessary to disregard all distractions and pursue their plans to a logical conclusion. Interrupting progress without just cause creates a window for doubt or hubris to disrupt any hard work that has already transpired.

Follow-through is all about balance. It’s about figuring out exactly how much to plan, and exactly when to take bold action. It’s about being able to push limits or expectations without settling for less or selling oneself short. Most importantly, it’s about having the commitment and discipline necessary to facilitate closure. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on leadership, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post.

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Sales is the single most inseparable component of business . It doesn’t matter who you are, in order to have a successful business, one of the most important things  to  master is sales because sales equals profit. For a long time I avoided anything that had to do with sales. Because of past experiences with unpleasant salespeople I  developed a twisted belief and negative view of sales. I thought that practicing sales meant being pushy and annoying. I thought it meant pestering people into submission and I certainly didn’t want anything to do with that! This belief blocked me from succeeding in business until I heard someone say, “sales is relationship-building”. Such a simple statement  impacted me and changed my perspective. Relationship-building is something that anyone can do and actually enjoy! Discovering that I had the choice to be myself and not be “salesy” really got me excited.

Sales is much more than providing the customer with goods, in exchange for money. Sales requires a relationship not only between sales representatives and the customers, but also with the company and the customer. Customers don’t just blindly look for what they need out of products, they also have an instinct to buy into the person who is selling them a product. Sales is all about capitalizing on this instinct in a balanced way. In sales, we cannot be too weak, insecure  or passive. Neither can we be  too aggressive, pushy and annoying. Where is the balance? The balance in between PASSIVE and AGGRESSIVE, is called ASSERTIVENESS.


There is a fine line between being assertive and being aggressive. Not only can being pushy and overly aggressive  offend customers, it can also   scare away prospective clients. On the other hand, by being assertive and in tune with the customer’s needs, you can actually draw in more revenue.  

Before you begin asale, try to discern any objections or  concerns the customer may have and be prepared to respond. Provide all of  your supporting data when delivering  your sales pitch. Also remember to always be calm, positive, and honest about the product you’re pitching. This will convey the message that you are an authority in the field.

What do I mean when I say ASSERTIVE? Develop these attributes and watch your sales numbers go up!  

Assertive behavior:

  • Calmness
  • Confidence
  • Positivity
  • Enthusiasm
  • Honesty

Richard Martinez

Transformation Expert

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